Frederick Gerard Paschall
January 27, 1928 to April 13, 2005
Before coming to Berkeley Springs, he founded the "Santa's Train Ride," which, every year during Christmastide, helps handicapped children of New York and New Jersey. That traditional free train ride for the handicapped kids with gifts at the end of the ride continues and grows in size with each passing year.
His vast talents ranged from building and repairing anything to artist and writer, crossword puzzle-solver, hunter, and lover of classical music including opera, with a real passion and a flair for concocting new recipes. He had a fine sense of humor and a joke for every occasion.
Fred was a fervent defender of the unborn. He was a supportive member of West Virginians for Life and Birthright of Berkeley Springs. He helped remodel Birthright’s new quarters, undertaking everything from drywall to plumbing. During the Apple Butter Festival he was always there to work the pro-life booth. He was the coleslaw-maker and part of the cleanup crew for the Respect Life Dinners. We could always count on Fred.
Fred was one of the founders of The Defenders of the Faith, Inc. In fact, he started it off by sending out publications to all of the parishioners when he observed the liturgical abuses being carried out in the local church. The pastor (now gone) was at that time conducting the Mass as he envisioned it should be conducted – not according to Church instructions. From this was born The Defender. Because Fred was such a knowledgeable Catholic, his articles were always the ones we used for the section we call ‘Catholic Teaching’. This section, as well as the rest of the publication, was always reviewed by at least two orthodox Catholic priests. Of course the previous pastor did not like the articles in The Defender, and of course we challenged him to find any errors. The only errors he could find were in the mailing list.
Fred was also a real reporter. He investigated other parishes and wrote about them in The Defender.
Fred attended the original meeting in 2002 that formed the Catholic Media Coalition (CMC). As stated by CMC president, Mary Ann Kreitzer, Fred was a welcome voice at that first meeting with much to offer as we formulated a preliminary vision. He was a faithful Catholic with a strong love of the Church and his family.
In 2003, Fred also helped establish the Catholic radio station, WDTF-LP, in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Fred was also a devoted member of the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Knights of Columbus and past president of the Holy Name Society.
Above all, he was a loving, devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather. Fred is survived by his wife, four sons, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Fred will be sorrowfully missed by those of us of The Defenders of the Faith, Inc. as well as the parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul’s Church.
Recollections of a Friend and Brother in Christ, Fred Paschall
By Nancy Ezolt
When I first began attending Mass again daily at St. Vincent de Paul Church, I would see Fred arrive at 7:30 am with missal in hand, there to pray for all those he had on his prayer list which he said was very long. He had a special list for cancer patients. He was always willing to add a name. If someone needed prayers he would approach whoever was present before Mass and ask them for prayers. Mass began at 8am.
After Mass, I would go to Lynette's Country Kitchen for coffee and would see Fred making his famous u-turn, or he would already be there, sitting at a table in the back with a group of friends. When he would see me, he would come over and say, “How ya doin?” Eventually, he joined me for coffee. His famous line when asked what he wanted to eat was, "Who’s cookin??" And the answer would determine how he would order his eggs.
Fred would talk about the wonderful new priest, Father Joseph, and how lucky St. Vincent's Parish was to have him. Fred would occasionally bring Father to breakfast, and they would sit at their table. That was nice to see.
After a time, Fran Mariscal, Jim Fritz and my husband Robert (when he could) would join us and we had a little breakfast club with many interesting discussions. Fred made sure he got his jokes in. How he liked to tease me about not being domicile (I was registered in another parish).
When he left, he’d say, “Well, I have to make my communion calls,” and then later (when Marge was hospitalized) it was, “I have go see Marge.” Fred told us, “I have my order in, one day after I bury Marge I want the Lord to take me.” He said, “I have to be around to take care of Marge.” He was always concerned about her. Fred was a devoted husband.
Fred loved his God, his Church, his wife and family. His faith was unshakeable. He was a true Defender of the Faith. If I would ask Fred a question about Mass or just a question in general on the Church, he would give me an answer, and then if I would doubt him and ask, “Where did you see that? I want to look at it for myself,” he'd say, “Don't ask me for the reference. I have too much up here (pointing to his head), but if I told you, it is true. I just can't quote the source.” And that ended that.
He would talk about his dear Marge, his family, how much he loved them, and his sister in New York. He would tell stories of his dog, Trudy, Rambo the cat, the squirrels and the birds. He had many stories of his days on the railroad, all the e-mails he got from his railroad buddies, his chess games in the park and then eventually on-line chess games.
Fred loved to tell the story about when his kids were young, how they would all be gathered around the table, and he would cut the cake into just enough pieces so everyone got one piece, but one time there wasn't a piece for Fred, and he said, “Who took two pieces of cake? Finally he heard a voice say, “I took a piece of cake, Mr. Paschall!” It was a neighbor’s kid. He said, “I had so many kids I didn't take notice of him!” And, boy, did he laugh when telling that one! We would all have a good laugh.
When Marge was in the hospital, he would call sometimes when he got home at night to tell me something good that had happened with Marge that day.
He was so excited about the Grotto he was building to honor the Blessed Mother and said, “I just have the lights to go, and it will be finished.”
Fred would have Betty Trittipoe pick up a single rose for him to place in front of the Blessed Mother's statue in church in memory of his deceased daughter, Patricia. That was so touching.
He enjoyed talking about cooking and told us many times what a good cook he was. I was complaining one time about not knowing what to have on Friday, and he told me get some canned Clam broth, some canned clams and mix together with a little white wine, heat and serve over linguine. Oh my gosh, that is so good.
Thanks, Fred, for sharing your faith, the laughter, and many fond memories.
Letter from Mary Ann Kreitzer of Catholic Media Coalition to CMC Members Regarding Fred Paschall
So that those who are not coming to the meeting can have input, I'm letting you all know that I would like to nominate Fred Paschall posthumously for the Maximilian Kolbe Award. Fred was one of the founders of The Defender in West Virginia. He was also a founder of Catholic Media Coalition and attended our foundational meeting in Alexandria, VA in 2002. Fred did extensive research and writing for The Defender's newsletter. You can read many of Fred's articles in the archive at The Defender's website http://www.thedefender.org/index.html.
I had the great pleasure of talking to Fred occasionally by phone the past few years. We occasionally discussed the state of the Church and what the faithful should do to fight it. Fred was sensible, prayerful, and always focused on the good of the Church.
He was an inspiration to know. I'm personally praying for his intercession for our meeting.
Mary Ann Kreitzer
Les Femmes www.lesfemmes-thetruth.org
Catholic Media Coalition: In line with the Church, online with the world
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